Spicy Apple Lamb Meatballs

I didn’t know this until just a few minutes ago, but apparently in the apartment complex that is home to Chez Tv Food and Drink, I now have a reputation to protect.

I was just at my front door, key in hand and two bags of groceries at my feet.  A young couple I recognized as neighbors I was nearly certain I had seen before passed me on the way to the elevator.  He was sporting an entirely shaved head but for a large flap of dark hair that fell forward and covered his left eye, while she was coiffed in shoulder-length bright magenta locks capturing a look that is more common than not in the Hollywood area.

As they went past, the guy recognized my door, stopped and asked, “Hey, are you the guy that cooks all the time?”

I chuckled nervously because that’s what I do around strangers, and then said, “yes.”  He responded with, “Ah, man.  I smell that food coming out of your apartment all the time. It’s fucking amazing!”

Wow!  Really?

I thanked him with a big smile I couldn’t have wiped off if you paid me, then offered to drop some food off sometime at his front door, to which he offered to pay me back in kind with a bottle of wine.  Then we went our separate ways before it dawned on me I still had no idea what their names were or where the hell they lived.

Oh well.  I’s nice to know I have some fans out there amongst the masses.  And it’s certainly the kind of thing you happily welcome hearing the night before having to psych yourself up for another work week.

And yes, I certainly did assume that the aroma of the food I make would slither into the hallways of my complex now and again.  But as I’m the one doing the cooking, I seldom catch the actual aroma myself since it envelopes me faster than anything else.  So it’s nice to get a pat on the back for something you hope other people love enjoying as much as you enjoy making it.

So, I’m the “cooks all the time” neighbor.  I’ll take it.  It’s much better than being the “drunk who lets all the restaurant menus pile up at their front door” neighbor, or the “doesn’t know that polite conversation needs to end well before the ten-minute mark” neighbor, or the “why the hell should I walk one flight of stairs when there’s an elevator to haul my lazy ass up to it?” neighbor.

Come to think of it, I’m sure these spicy apple lamb meatballs probably garnered me some hallway props amongst the neighbors.  Aside from the spicy kick of the onions, peppers and horseradish, there’s also some earthy tones from the parsley and the mushrooms, capped off by the sweet aroma of apples and apple cider.  It’s an aromatic opera!  As for the taste, the heat is met straight on by the sweetness, striking a nice balance from one chew to the next.  And I highly recommend letting some sit overnight in its juices for an even more concentrated taste sensation the next day!

Click through the gallery below for start-to-finish pics. Recipe follows below.

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Zesty Italian Barbeque Meatballs

Over the weekend I broke out the Little Slow Cooker That Could to brew myself up some phenomenally good Italian Barbeque Meatballs, and I learned a valuable lesson.  Sticking around all afternoon while the aroma of phenomenally good Italian Barbeque Meatballs slowly creeps its way through your apartment in an invisible flavor fog is utter self-torture. From now on, slow cooking is relegated to Mondays through Fridays only while I’m at the office.

Damn good meatballs though, even if the sauce recipe seems a little excessive.  I’m not complaining because it was delicious, but I’m wondering if I can get the same flavor punch with less ingredients.  Any thoughts?

The potatoes were a last-minute addition.  I discovered I had one russet in my cabinet, so I diced it up, coated it with olive oil and a little dry onion soup mix and baked covered at 350 for about 45 minutes.  The tanginess provided a nice contrast to the hickory sweetness of the meatballs, and it wasn’t long before MG and I had everything on our plates mixed together in two giantic savory smokey food mountains.

And of course, you can’t serve a meal like this without a healthy slice of fresh French bread to cover the soppin’ duties at the end.  Barbecue-flavored butter!  There’s nothing better.

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Baked Chicken Meatballs

Have you ever tried to write an interesting story around meatballs? I haven’t before, and I probably never will again. Meatballs excite me, and there are a variety of meatball recipes that have come my way in life, and rarely am I disappointed. But aside from proclaiming these little suckers above as some of the best freakin’ meatballs I may have ever had in my entire freakin’ life, there’s not much else to say.

However, I did experience a meatball stream of consciouseness while pondering what to write about these last night.

I was eating these delicious meatballs on my couch while watching The Joy Behar Show. Joy’s guests were the Reverend Al Sharpton and Jenny Craig spokesperson Valerie Bertinelli. The fact that I was watching The Joy Behar Show has nothing to do with nothing, but it does prove that I’m just about willing to admit anything about myself and face whatever scorn and taunting might come my way in the booth tomorrow.

Of course, I might not get it at all for watching The Joy Behar Show. I might get it for the statement above, “meatballs excite me.” We’ll have to wait and see how it plays out.

Anyway, I was watching Joy and eating the meatballs, which led me to remember that last week, an hour of our show was sponsored by the video release of the film Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, which made me remember that Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs is also currently available on demand, and that led me to think of San Francisco, which in turn led me to think of my mom.

Here’s why:

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